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  • 30 Nov 2017
    As the wheels of industry across the country slow to a halt over the Christmas period, those involved in factory and plant maintenance will be gearing themselves up for their busiest two weeks of the year. Festive shutdown is the opportune time to carry-out vital workplace refurbishment and ensure staff return to an environment that is equipped to maximise productivity without compromise to comfort and safety. Ideal base For large industrial areas, the floor’s quality is paramount. It needs to be durable enough to withstand the long-term rigours of heavy machinery and footfall, as well as remain oil and dirt-free to uphold strict health and safety guidelines. Even the best surfaces deteriorate over time, however, leaving business owners with little choice but to replace the flooring. When this decision is taken, installation time will be a major factor for clients when considering which flooring to specify for their plant or factory. Understandably, a surface which delivers the quickest application time – in order to minimise plant disruption – whilst offering the best-possible performance in terms of cost, durability and hygiene is high on the agenda when it comes to refurbishment.  Sikafloor has a range of systems which fulfil that criteria as well as offer rapid installation times and excellent aesthetic properties, making them the ideal solution for a quality installation carried-out in days, rather than months. Sikafloor®-264, for instance, a two-part, coloured, epoxy resin – a product part of the Sikafloor MultiDur range – provides a superb, easy-to-apply coating, which can be broadcasted for added slip resistance, especially important for facilities such as large airport hangars and general manufacturing and process – an essential safety benefit in areas containing heavy machinery and motorised equipment. Rapid proof Evidence of how easily and effectively Sika’s epoxy resin flooring systems can be installed is provided by a project carried out at the BMW plant in Oxford. The client required a flooring system that provided a safe working environment for employees to carry out electrical component manufacturing. The installation, which took place across three separate areas totalling 3,710m2, had to be completed within six days. Sikafloor®-235 ESD was chosen for this project for two reasons; the performance and suitability of the product in an automotive processing plant and the speed of application. Installation teams worked during non-business hours including night shifts to minimise plant disruption. Thanks to its easy-to-apply benefits, Sikafloor®-235 ESD, which is incredibly easy to maintain, supplied this exceptionally prestigious car plant with a safe, sturdy, mechanical and chemically-resistant floor within the agreed timeframe. This project’s success also outlined the benefit of using a trusted contractor that has been trained by the manufacturer to install its flooring to the highest specification. Flooring specialist, IRL Group, which installed the Sikafloor®-235 ESD, is a long-term client of BMW, with Sika as its preferred manufacturer. A long-standing relationship between parties reassures the client that from concept to conception, a full-service solution – including technical support throughout and post-installation testing – has been specifically-designed for their project’s requirements. Time is the enemy when flooring needs to be installed to deadline in dormant factories and industrial work spaces, but thanks to Sikafloor’s exemplary epoxy resin range, a proven, user-friendly, rapid-apply solution is at hand all-year-round: not just Christmas. By Sarah James, Sika Flooring Marketing Manager Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • As the wheels of industry across the country slow to a halt over the Christmas period, those involved in factory and plant maintenance will be gearing themselves up for their busiest two weeks of the year. Festive shutdown is the opportune time to carry-out vital workplace refurbishment and ensure staff return to an environment that is equipped to maximise productivity without compromise to comfort and safety. Ideal base For large industrial areas, the floor’s quality is paramount. It needs to be durable enough to withstand the long-term rigours of heavy machinery and footfall, as well as remain oil and dirt-free to uphold strict health and safety guidelines. Even the best surfaces deteriorate over time, however, leaving business owners with little choice but to replace the flooring. When this decision is taken, installation time will be a major factor for clients when considering which flooring to specify for their plant or factory. Understandably, a surface which delivers the quickest application time – in order to minimise plant disruption – whilst offering the best-possible performance in terms of cost, durability and hygiene is high on the agenda when it comes to refurbishment.  Sikafloor has a range of systems which fulfil that criteria as well as offer rapid installation times and excellent aesthetic properties, making them the ideal solution for a quality installation carried-out in days, rather than months. Sikafloor®-264, for instance, a two-part, coloured, epoxy resin – a product part of the Sikafloor MultiDur range – provides a superb, easy-to-apply coating, which can be broadcasted for added slip resistance, especially important for facilities such as large airport hangars and general manufacturing and process – an essential safety benefit in areas containing heavy machinery and motorised equipment. Rapid proof Evidence of how easily and effectively Sika’s epoxy resin flooring systems can be installed is provided by a project carried out at the BMW plant in Oxford. The client required a flooring system that provided a safe working environment for employees to carry out electrical component manufacturing. The installation, which took place across three separate areas totalling 3,710m2, had to be completed within six days. Sikafloor®-235 ESD was chosen for this project for two reasons; the performance and suitability of the product in an automotive processing plant and the speed of application. Installation teams worked during non-business hours including night shifts to minimise plant disruption. Thanks to its easy-to-apply benefits, Sikafloor®-235 ESD, which is incredibly easy to maintain, supplied this exceptionally prestigious car plant with a safe, sturdy, mechanical and chemically-resistant floor within the agreed timeframe. This project’s success also outlined the benefit of using a trusted contractor that has been trained by the manufacturer to install its flooring to the highest specification. Flooring specialist, IRL Group, which installed the Sikafloor®-235 ESD, is a long-term client of BMW, with Sika as its preferred manufacturer. A long-standing relationship between parties reassures the client that from concept to conception, a full-service solution – including technical support throughout and post-installation testing – has been specifically-designed for their project’s requirements. Time is the enemy when flooring needs to be installed to deadline in dormant factories and industrial work spaces, but thanks to Sikafloor’s exemplary epoxy resin range, a proven, user-friendly, rapid-apply solution is at hand all-year-round: not just Christmas. By Sarah James, Sika Flooring Marketing Manager Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    Nov 30, 2017 0
  • 29 Nov 2017
    The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have reported in their ‘RETENTIONS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BEIS Research Paper 17’ that £700 million worth of cash retention has been lost in construction over a three-year period because of insolvencies. Significantly, 44% of surveyed contractors had experienced retentions being withheld in the last three years because of upstream insolvencies. Main Contractor or Client insolvencies are particularly damaging as they can be involved in many projects with multiple supply chain sub-contractors. Although, Insolvency lost retentions is a problem, it is not the only problem. In 2002, a report into retentions published by the Trade and Industry Committee, multiplied sector Gross Value Added (GVA) by an average retention percentage of 5% to estimate retentions held. The retention estimate result was a jaw dropping £3.25bn per annum based on an annual construction output of £65bn in the UK at that time. As the construction sector has grown since 2002, the House of Commons Library estimated in their briefing paper, Construction industry: statistics and policy, that in 2014 the output was £103bn, so considering the increase in output, the retentions held now will be greater. Furthermore, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group point to an estimate of £7.8 billion of retentions being unpaid across the construction sector over the last three years. The BEIS report highlights that delays in paying retention is commonplace in the construction sector. Around 71% of contractors surveyed with experience of having retentions held in the last three years have experienced delays in receiving retention monies over the same period. Data from the BEIS’s contractor survey indicate that there is wide variation between the experiences of different contractors, with some experiencing no delays, while others experience delays of over a year. Although, average delays at each tier of the supply chain is several months. The extent of this average delay is significantly longer for tier 2 and 3 contractors compared to tier 1 contractors. The contractor survey also provided evidence of frequent non-payment of retentions, with over half of participants reporting that they have experienced non-payment, be it partial or full, over the past three years. Research from the Federation of Master Builders indicate that 66% of small-sized construction companies are not paid within 30 days, with nearly 25% having to wait four months to have invoices paid. Several reasons for late or non-payment of retention monies mentioned in the contractor survey include, disputes over defects, contractors becoming insolvent and contractors not asking for their retention money as they are keen to maintain good relationships with their Main Contractor. Additionally, the contractor survey identified that a number of contractors were not aware of legislation that would be beneficial to them when trying to obtain payment. Retentions drain money away from specialist contractors and stop them using it to invest in their business and workforce. It is an unfair burden that the supply chain should not have to endure and must be stopped. Indeed, parliament agrees, in 2002 and 2008, the business Select Committee recommended phasing out cash retentions because they were outdated and unfair to small firms. No surprise there as the Banwell report, commissioned in 1962, recommended the abolition of retentions altogether. The Lathan report, commissioned in 1995, recommended that cash retentions should be at least protected in a trust account. In 2016 the retention issue was raised in a parliamentary debate and the government minister stated that there would be an evidence based review which would be completed by the end of 2016. The review has not been completed and has been kicked into the long grass. So, the retention madness goes on!   The Confederation of Construction Specialists publish Performance Bonds that could assist contractors with retention problems.  Furthermore, the Confederation has a multitude of CPD courses that will bring contractors up-to-date with contractual legislation and best practice. The courses will instil knowledge so that contractors can challenge unfair contracts and practices and increase their likelihood of receiving their retention payment. For over 30 years the Confederation of Construction Specialists has been supporting construction specialist companies. By providing up-to date relevant contract training courses, professional advice and contractual guidance, the Confederation of Construction Specialists enables specialist companies to optimise the ways in which they operate contractual arrangements when dealing with Main Contractors or clients By Gerald Kelly – General Manager Confederation of Construction Specialists www.constructionspecialists.org    https://twitter.com/ccs_org
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have reported in their ‘RETENTIONS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BEIS Research Paper 17’ that £700 million worth of cash retention has been lost in construction over a three-year period because of insolvencies. Significantly, 44% of surveyed contractors had experienced retentions being withheld in the last three years because of upstream insolvencies. Main Contractor or Client insolvencies are particularly damaging as they can be involved in many projects with multiple supply chain sub-contractors. Although, Insolvency lost retentions is a problem, it is not the only problem. In 2002, a report into retentions published by the Trade and Industry Committee, multiplied sector Gross Value Added (GVA) by an average retention percentage of 5% to estimate retentions held. The retention estimate result was a jaw dropping £3.25bn per annum based on an annual construction output of £65bn in the UK at that time. As the construction sector has grown since 2002, the House of Commons Library estimated in their briefing paper, Construction industry: statistics and policy, that in 2014 the output was £103bn, so considering the increase in output, the retentions held now will be greater. Furthermore, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group point to an estimate of £7.8 billion of retentions being unpaid across the construction sector over the last three years. The BEIS report highlights that delays in paying retention is commonplace in the construction sector. Around 71% of contractors surveyed with experience of having retentions held in the last three years have experienced delays in receiving retention monies over the same period. Data from the BEIS’s contractor survey indicate that there is wide variation between the experiences of different contractors, with some experiencing no delays, while others experience delays of over a year. Although, average delays at each tier of the supply chain is several months. The extent of this average delay is significantly longer for tier 2 and 3 contractors compared to tier 1 contractors. The contractor survey also provided evidence of frequent non-payment of retentions, with over half of participants reporting that they have experienced non-payment, be it partial or full, over the past three years. Research from the Federation of Master Builders indicate that 66% of small-sized construction companies are not paid within 30 days, with nearly 25% having to wait four months to have invoices paid. Several reasons for late or non-payment of retention monies mentioned in the contractor survey include, disputes over defects, contractors becoming insolvent and contractors not asking for their retention money as they are keen to maintain good relationships with their Main Contractor. Additionally, the contractor survey identified that a number of contractors were not aware of legislation that would be beneficial to them when trying to obtain payment. Retentions drain money away from specialist contractors and stop them using it to invest in their business and workforce. It is an unfair burden that the supply chain should not have to endure and must be stopped. Indeed, parliament agrees, in 2002 and 2008, the business Select Committee recommended phasing out cash retentions because they were outdated and unfair to small firms. No surprise there as the Banwell report, commissioned in 1962, recommended the abolition of retentions altogether. The Lathan report, commissioned in 1995, recommended that cash retentions should be at least protected in a trust account. In 2016 the retention issue was raised in a parliamentary debate and the government minister stated that there would be an evidence based review which would be completed by the end of 2016. The review has not been completed and has been kicked into the long grass. So, the retention madness goes on!   The Confederation of Construction Specialists publish Performance Bonds that could assist contractors with retention problems.  Furthermore, the Confederation has a multitude of CPD courses that will bring contractors up-to-date with contractual legislation and best practice. The courses will instil knowledge so that contractors can challenge unfair contracts and practices and increase their likelihood of receiving their retention payment. For over 30 years the Confederation of Construction Specialists has been supporting construction specialist companies. By providing up-to date relevant contract training courses, professional advice and contractual guidance, the Confederation of Construction Specialists enables specialist companies to optimise the ways in which they operate contractual arrangements when dealing with Main Contractors or clients By Gerald Kelly – General Manager Confederation of Construction Specialists www.constructionspecialists.org    https://twitter.com/ccs_org
    Nov 29, 2017 0
  • 20 Nov 2017
    Applying grout to steel columns and the like sounds simple in theory, but in practise it is quite a specialist process. As with most things in life, lack of proper preparation will lead to poor results. Filling the gap that exists between a steel plate and substrate when used to secure columns and machinery requires a grout that is easily poured and flows evenly around the void. This is best achieved by installing wooden formwork around the base plate and pouring into a header box/hopper for continuous flow to ensure an even application and prevent any air entrapment. With cementitious grout, its long-term success is largely decided at the mixing stage – too much water will affect its overall strength; too little will affect its flowable capabilities. As an alternative void-filler for base plates and such, it’s not uncommon for builders to use hand-applied repair mortar. But this is far from ideal as an even application is almost impossible to achieve, thus air bubbles and gaps are a likely result. Sink the shrink Any product containing cement will ultimately shrink and create gaps; therefore a shrinkage compensated grout is essential. If applying a grout to a concrete substrate it's essential to pre-soak the substrate in clean water for a minimum of two hours beforehand. Failure to do so is likely to result in the concrete extracting from the grout, affecting its cure, leaving a potential for cracking and reduced adhesion. The SikaGrout® range contains high-quality, flowable, cementitious grouts for general purpose or large commercial applications. SikaGrout®111GP, for instance, meets the requirements of Class R4 of BS EN 1504-6. Pumped or poured, it’s ideal for a number of solutions including machine and base plate-filling, concrete repairs and steel reinforcement anchoring. Specifying the correct quantity and strength of grout is a basic requirement for a quality application, but it’s a simple trick that can sometimes be missed. Expert advice Specifying the correct quantity and strength of grout is a basic requirement for a quality application, but it’s a simple trick that can sometimes be missed. Sika’s technical team is available to eliminate the risk of such oversights. Our staff have the necessary expertise and product information to ensure correct grout quantity and type for a particular project and are also available for site visits to offer application guidance. Cementitious grout – once it's fully cured – can achieve compressive strengths greater than standard C40 concrete. Attempting to remove it from beneath a steel base plate due to specification or application error could result in a very long and costly process. Better, then, to ensure this simple but extremely important task is carried out correctly – which means paying close attention to the product data sheet before the grout-pouring begins. In these instances, there is no such thing as being over-prepared. By Steven Hardy, Sika Technical Services Advisor – Refurbishment visit www.sika.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Applying grout to steel columns and the like sounds simple in theory, but in practise it is quite a specialist process. As with most things in life, lack of proper preparation will lead to poor results. Filling the gap that exists between a steel plate and substrate when used to secure columns and machinery requires a grout that is easily poured and flows evenly around the void. This is best achieved by installing wooden formwork around the base plate and pouring into a header box/hopper for continuous flow to ensure an even application and prevent any air entrapment. With cementitious grout, its long-term success is largely decided at the mixing stage – too much water will affect its overall strength; too little will affect its flowable capabilities. As an alternative void-filler for base plates and such, it’s not uncommon for builders to use hand-applied repair mortar. But this is far from ideal as an even application is almost impossible to achieve, thus air bubbles and gaps are a likely result. Sink the shrink Any product containing cement will ultimately shrink and create gaps; therefore a shrinkage compensated grout is essential. If applying a grout to a concrete substrate it's essential to pre-soak the substrate in clean water for a minimum of two hours beforehand. Failure to do so is likely to result in the concrete extracting from the grout, affecting its cure, leaving a potential for cracking and reduced adhesion. The SikaGrout® range contains high-quality, flowable, cementitious grouts for general purpose or large commercial applications. SikaGrout®111GP, for instance, meets the requirements of Class R4 of BS EN 1504-6. Pumped or poured, it’s ideal for a number of solutions including machine and base plate-filling, concrete repairs and steel reinforcement anchoring. Specifying the correct quantity and strength of grout is a basic requirement for a quality application, but it’s a simple trick that can sometimes be missed. Expert advice Specifying the correct quantity and strength of grout is a basic requirement for a quality application, but it’s a simple trick that can sometimes be missed. Sika’s technical team is available to eliminate the risk of such oversights. Our staff have the necessary expertise and product information to ensure correct grout quantity and type for a particular project and are also available for site visits to offer application guidance. Cementitious grout – once it's fully cured – can achieve compressive strengths greater than standard C40 concrete. Attempting to remove it from beneath a steel base plate due to specification or application error could result in a very long and costly process. Better, then, to ensure this simple but extremely important task is carried out correctly – which means paying close attention to the product data sheet before the grout-pouring begins. In these instances, there is no such thing as being over-prepared. By Steven Hardy, Sika Technical Services Advisor – Refurbishment visit www.sika.co.uk
    Nov 20, 2017 0
  • 15 Nov 2017
    With more and more businesses having taken the first key step towards automation (application generated PDF documents), it’s time to discuss the next time-consuming, labour-intensive and error-prone element to overcome’, writes Matthew Jones at Open ECX. The easiest and most efficient way to send documents such as invoices and orders is via email as a PDF document. Billing systems create the PDF documents and email them directly to the recipient. This process is now fairly commonplace but marks a major shift in approach from the old, manual processing to the new; automation. The next stumbling block standing between a business and fully-automated, e-invoicing is how to extract and integrate the data into their finance system. Those businesses that carry out this task via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) may think that the technology is saving them time and increasing efficiencies, but in truth OCR can be just as labour intensive as manual processing. That’s because OCR engines convert the ‘photograph’ – which sometimes has to be printed and scanned first – into data and a human check is required to rectify any mistakes made. The mistakes are fairly easy to spot, with the example in the photo above showing how the OCR misread “26.19” as “2b.iy”. However, correcting each and every one of these mistakes uses valuable resources and interrupts the automation process, thereby completely removing all the benefits. The good news is this problem can be avoided through our unique PDF to e-Invoicing solution.  Data can be taken straight from the PDF and automatically – with 100 per cent accuracy – mapped to an e-document structure, matched and validated against organisational documents of your choice, and delivered direct to your back-office systems (shown below) with minimal to no human intervention required; automation achieved. As this approach is so simple and non-disruptive to any supply chain, supplier adoption rates are extremely high. In fact, 94% of your suppliers when asked will be able to send a machine generated PDF. And this means benefits to businesses, including reduced costs, increased visibility, transparency and control and increased ability to pay on time. Visit: http://openecx.co.uk/solutions/einvoicing/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With more and more businesses having taken the first key step towards automation (application generated PDF documents), it’s time to discuss the next time-consuming, labour-intensive and error-prone element to overcome’, writes Matthew Jones at Open ECX. The easiest and most efficient way to send documents such as invoices and orders is via email as a PDF document. Billing systems create the PDF documents and email them directly to the recipient. This process is now fairly commonplace but marks a major shift in approach from the old, manual processing to the new; automation. The next stumbling block standing between a business and fully-automated, e-invoicing is how to extract and integrate the data into their finance system. Those businesses that carry out this task via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) may think that the technology is saving them time and increasing efficiencies, but in truth OCR can be just as labour intensive as manual processing. That’s because OCR engines convert the ‘photograph’ – which sometimes has to be printed and scanned first – into data and a human check is required to rectify any mistakes made. The mistakes are fairly easy to spot, with the example in the photo above showing how the OCR misread “26.19” as “2b.iy”. However, correcting each and every one of these mistakes uses valuable resources and interrupts the automation process, thereby completely removing all the benefits. The good news is this problem can be avoided through our unique PDF to e-Invoicing solution.  Data can be taken straight from the PDF and automatically – with 100 per cent accuracy – mapped to an e-document structure, matched and validated against organisational documents of your choice, and delivered direct to your back-office systems (shown below) with minimal to no human intervention required; automation achieved. As this approach is so simple and non-disruptive to any supply chain, supplier adoption rates are extremely high. In fact, 94% of your suppliers when asked will be able to send a machine generated PDF. And this means benefits to businesses, including reduced costs, increased visibility, transparency and control and increased ability to pay on time. Visit: http://openecx.co.uk/solutions/einvoicing/
    Nov 15, 2017 0
  • 13 Nov 2017
    The humble parking garage has become a crucial part of city planning. From open-sided concrete multi-storey facilities to car parks that are integrated into residential and retail developments, one thing is common to them all – they are inherently complex to waterproof as they comprise an array of elements from exposed top levels to heavily trafficked access ramps.  This is why mastic asphalt, with its market leading longevity, flexibility and durability, has become such an important waterproofing material and seen as the cost-effective solution for car park applications.   Since the proliferation of multi-storey parking facilities in the 1960s, the application of an all-encompassing waterproof coating has become a critical element in car park design. The open air nature of a car park’s top deck means that it will be subjected to all forms of weather, which is then transferred to internal levels by cars and pedestrians. To prevent water ingress into the concrete structure, the waterproofing specification throughout the car park must be of the highest standard. The traditional approach was to overlay the porous cement screeds and concrete decks with a voidless and totally waterproof layer of mastic asphalt. While mastic asphalt was always a popular specification on car park projects in the past, a new generation of mastic asphalts has been developed by mastic asphalt manufacturers to meet the changing needs of architects, contractors and clients.  A key factor in the material’s resurgence is that the new products contain polymer formulations – giving it more flexibility, durability and consistent quality in application. Also, they can now be coated with an array of attractive colours for car park operators to clearly mark out individual parking spaces, disabled and family bays, and pedestrian walkways. These modern mastic asphalts are produced in factory controlled conditions and then delivered to site ready for application. This process helps to maintain the quality of the material, whilst enabling the manufacturer to produce a material bespoke to the project. For example, mastic asphalt can now be formulated to take into account the local climate or specific traffic conditions. Testament to mastic asphalt’s reliability, cost-effectiveness and durability, this proven material has been specified for a whole host of multi-storey car park applications across the UK including two recent projects in the West Midlands - a new staff car park at the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Castle Bromwich and a new Waitrose car park in Solihull.  Both applications required a waterproofing material which would offer durability and longevity, with mastic asphalt providing the solution. Whatever the project, the three factors the contractor must consider when selecting the mastic asphalt to use are; design, budget and timescale. By taking into account the type of traffic (for example cars or HGVs), the available budget and the durability of performance required of the material – architects and contractors can specify a mastic asphalt waterproofing and decking system that fits the bill both now and long into the future. Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The humble parking garage has become a crucial part of city planning. From open-sided concrete multi-storey facilities to car parks that are integrated into residential and retail developments, one thing is common to them all – they are inherently complex to waterproof as they comprise an array of elements from exposed top levels to heavily trafficked access ramps.  This is why mastic asphalt, with its market leading longevity, flexibility and durability, has become such an important waterproofing material and seen as the cost-effective solution for car park applications.   Since the proliferation of multi-storey parking facilities in the 1960s, the application of an all-encompassing waterproof coating has become a critical element in car park design. The open air nature of a car park’s top deck means that it will be subjected to all forms of weather, which is then transferred to internal levels by cars and pedestrians. To prevent water ingress into the concrete structure, the waterproofing specification throughout the car park must be of the highest standard. The traditional approach was to overlay the porous cement screeds and concrete decks with a voidless and totally waterproof layer of mastic asphalt. While mastic asphalt was always a popular specification on car park projects in the past, a new generation of mastic asphalts has been developed by mastic asphalt manufacturers to meet the changing needs of architects, contractors and clients.  A key factor in the material’s resurgence is that the new products contain polymer formulations – giving it more flexibility, durability and consistent quality in application. Also, they can now be coated with an array of attractive colours for car park operators to clearly mark out individual parking spaces, disabled and family bays, and pedestrian walkways. These modern mastic asphalts are produced in factory controlled conditions and then delivered to site ready for application. This process helps to maintain the quality of the material, whilst enabling the manufacturer to produce a material bespoke to the project. For example, mastic asphalt can now be formulated to take into account the local climate or specific traffic conditions. Testament to mastic asphalt’s reliability, cost-effectiveness and durability, this proven material has been specified for a whole host of multi-storey car park applications across the UK including two recent projects in the West Midlands - a new staff car park at the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Castle Bromwich and a new Waitrose car park in Solihull.  Both applications required a waterproofing material which would offer durability and longevity, with mastic asphalt providing the solution. Whatever the project, the three factors the contractor must consider when selecting the mastic asphalt to use are; design, budget and timescale. By taking into account the type of traffic (for example cars or HGVs), the available budget and the durability of performance required of the material – architects and contractors can specify a mastic asphalt waterproofing and decking system that fits the bill both now and long into the future. Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/
    Nov 13, 2017 0
  • 08 Nov 2017
    With winter almost upon us, the anticipated damp and sub-zero temperatures will provide a severe test of the quality of the concrete used to build structures old and new. Over time, frost and ice will do its best to debilitate a building by finding its way into cracks caused by any one of a number of issues. Excess water in the concrete mix; improper strength of concrete poured on-site; conditions too cold for effective application…these are just some of the reasons fissures, which are susceptible to the freeze/thaw process, resulting in crack-widening and the structural integrity of the concrete being tested. Fortunately, Sika has a proven, high-performance solution for crack repair in newly-poured and refurbished concrete. Sikadur®-52, an injection or poured epoxy resin, provides a reliable seal for a wide range of structural or non-structural applications and uses such as joint and hole filling; crack and void sealing. Easy to mix and apply, Sikadur®-52 is ideal for dry and damp concrete surfaces in horizontal and vertical locations. Crack repair using Sikadur®-52 couldn’t be simpler. The crack itself doesn’t need to be cut out or the area widened before filling. Sikadur®-52, with its low viscosity, permeates into the smallest of cracks to provide a permanent seal. Impermeable to liquids and water vapour, the system hardens without shrinkage – a vital property when repairing cracks. As well as offering superb abrasion resistance and mechanical strength, Sikadur®-52 provides excellent adhesion to most construction materials including natural stone, ceramics, fibre cement, mortar, bricks, masonry steel, iron and wood. It is the ideal concrete crack-repair solution for a wide range of infrastructure projects. Slabs, beams and columns found in buildings, bridges and the like are among surfaces ideal for the application of Sikadur®-52. The upkeep of our infrastructure is not only vital to maintaining elements such as nationwide road and rail routes; neglecting to treat cracks in concrete structures sooner rather than later can lead to greater damage and costly, time-consuming repairs. This could result in cash-strapped local authorities passing the financial burden of such work onto the community in the form of increased council tax bills. Prevention is better than cure, as the well-known saying goes, and so it is better to repair concrete when the damage is minimal with a reliable, robust solution such as Sikadur®-52, before greater problems take ahold. To ensure areas that have been repaired are protected from future environment conditions, such as freeze thaw, concrete facades, column, soffits etc. are coated with anti-carbonation coatings. Sika offers a range of coating solutions, which include water based crack bridging systems, resin coatings and hydrophobic impregnations. In buildings and infrastructure projects these protective systems are applied as part of the future repair and maintenance strategy. By Mark Shaw, Technical Manager at Sika  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With winter almost upon us, the anticipated damp and sub-zero temperatures will provide a severe test of the quality of the concrete used to build structures old and new. Over time, frost and ice will do its best to debilitate a building by finding its way into cracks caused by any one of a number of issues. Excess water in the concrete mix; improper strength of concrete poured on-site; conditions too cold for effective application…these are just some of the reasons fissures, which are susceptible to the freeze/thaw process, resulting in crack-widening and the structural integrity of the concrete being tested. Fortunately, Sika has a proven, high-performance solution for crack repair in newly-poured and refurbished concrete. Sikadur®-52, an injection or poured epoxy resin, provides a reliable seal for a wide range of structural or non-structural applications and uses such as joint and hole filling; crack and void sealing. Easy to mix and apply, Sikadur®-52 is ideal for dry and damp concrete surfaces in horizontal and vertical locations. Crack repair using Sikadur®-52 couldn’t be simpler. The crack itself doesn’t need to be cut out or the area widened before filling. Sikadur®-52, with its low viscosity, permeates into the smallest of cracks to provide a permanent seal. Impermeable to liquids and water vapour, the system hardens without shrinkage – a vital property when repairing cracks. As well as offering superb abrasion resistance and mechanical strength, Sikadur®-52 provides excellent adhesion to most construction materials including natural stone, ceramics, fibre cement, mortar, bricks, masonry steel, iron and wood. It is the ideal concrete crack-repair solution for a wide range of infrastructure projects. Slabs, beams and columns found in buildings, bridges and the like are among surfaces ideal for the application of Sikadur®-52. The upkeep of our infrastructure is not only vital to maintaining elements such as nationwide road and rail routes; neglecting to treat cracks in concrete structures sooner rather than later can lead to greater damage and costly, time-consuming repairs. This could result in cash-strapped local authorities passing the financial burden of such work onto the community in the form of increased council tax bills. Prevention is better than cure, as the well-known saying goes, and so it is better to repair concrete when the damage is minimal with a reliable, robust solution such as Sikadur®-52, before greater problems take ahold. To ensure areas that have been repaired are protected from future environment conditions, such as freeze thaw, concrete facades, column, soffits etc. are coated with anti-carbonation coatings. Sika offers a range of coating solutions, which include water based crack bridging systems, resin coatings and hydrophobic impregnations. In buildings and infrastructure projects these protective systems are applied as part of the future repair and maintenance strategy. By Mark Shaw, Technical Manager at Sika  
    Nov 08, 2017 0
  • 06 Nov 2017
    The UK construction industry as a whole tends to cling on to outmoded and inefficient payment practices even when presented with more effective ways of working – a point that is particularly valid when it comes to working capital management and payment processing, writes John Vasili, Director of Business Development at Invapay. The construction industry has a long-standing problem when it comes to B2B payments. The NSCC & FMB Payment Survey revealed that 40 per cent of businesses are not paid within contracted terms, a third of payments due are late – representing 4.4 per cent of turnover on average – and that subcontractors write off £200 million in late payments and retentions. Clearly, there’s a need for a more efficient way of processing and making payments – one that will benefit businesses of all shapes and sizes and at all stages in the construction lifecycle, from major contractors right down to specialist subcontractors and general suppliers. Through our partnership with Open ECX and their WebContractor offer we have developed a combined full-service payment solution, providing construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment processes and maximise working capital benefits. The direct and indirect benefits to businesses and their suppliers are multiple. We find that one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of ePayment processing solutions for many businesses is supplier acceptance – with businesses concerned that the implementation of a revised payment processing approach will have a negative knock-on effect for their suppliers. In our experience, this fear is misguided. Our customers tell us they want to maximise their working capital and to get best use of available credit lines but are concerned about the impact on suppliers. We solve this issue by simply making payments to the suppliers standard bank account– the supplier doesn’t need to know they are being settled via your working capital or available credit lines; all the while operating in the FCA regulated environment and the assurance that brings. Our customers benefit considerably and are able to maximise the return on working Capital & to fully utilise any credit lines buyers may have available. They can also make accelerated payments to suppliers, whatever the size, thereby securitising the entire construction supply chain. Our Open ECX colleagues have also faced concerns over supplier acceptance. Their e-invoicing solution automatically converts and validates PDF invoices received from suppliers, completely removing the need for time-consuming manual entry and eliminating human error. For suppliers it provides them with the benefit of a reduction in payment delays often caused by traditional processes. Open ECX has found that supplier adoption is often rapid. One builders’ merchant that stocks more than 13,000 product lines across 13 branches, saw the percentage of e-documents being processed rise from around 25-30 per cent to 60 per cent in a matter of months; this led to huge time and efficiency gains, allowing them to redeploy staff to focus on higher value tasks. There is absolutely no reason for businesses to continue to operate an outmoded payment approach. There is a tried, tested and regulated alternative delivering major efficiency and cashflow benefits for both sides of the construction supply chain. And unless we as an industry are willing to adapt, then we are resigned to not achieving the best payment practices, return on working capital and suppliers hindered by late and delayed payments for many years to come. For more on Invapay’s partnership with Open ECX visit http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The UK construction industry as a whole tends to cling on to outmoded and inefficient payment practices even when presented with more effective ways of working – a point that is particularly valid when it comes to working capital management and payment processing, writes John Vasili, Director of Business Development at Invapay. The construction industry has a long-standing problem when it comes to B2B payments. The NSCC & FMB Payment Survey revealed that 40 per cent of businesses are not paid within contracted terms, a third of payments due are late – representing 4.4 per cent of turnover on average – and that subcontractors write off £200 million in late payments and retentions. Clearly, there’s a need for a more efficient way of processing and making payments – one that will benefit businesses of all shapes and sizes and at all stages in the construction lifecycle, from major contractors right down to specialist subcontractors and general suppliers. Through our partnership with Open ECX and their WebContractor offer we have developed a combined full-service payment solution, providing construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment processes and maximise working capital benefits. The direct and indirect benefits to businesses and their suppliers are multiple. We find that one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of ePayment processing solutions for many businesses is supplier acceptance – with businesses concerned that the implementation of a revised payment processing approach will have a negative knock-on effect for their suppliers. In our experience, this fear is misguided. Our customers tell us they want to maximise their working capital and to get best use of available credit lines but are concerned about the impact on suppliers. We solve this issue by simply making payments to the suppliers standard bank account– the supplier doesn’t need to know they are being settled via your working capital or available credit lines; all the while operating in the FCA regulated environment and the assurance that brings. Our customers benefit considerably and are able to maximise the return on working Capital & to fully utilise any credit lines buyers may have available. They can also make accelerated payments to suppliers, whatever the size, thereby securitising the entire construction supply chain. Our Open ECX colleagues have also faced concerns over supplier acceptance. Their e-invoicing solution automatically converts and validates PDF invoices received from suppliers, completely removing the need for time-consuming manual entry and eliminating human error. For suppliers it provides them with the benefit of a reduction in payment delays often caused by traditional processes. Open ECX has found that supplier adoption is often rapid. One builders’ merchant that stocks more than 13,000 product lines across 13 branches, saw the percentage of e-documents being processed rise from around 25-30 per cent to 60 per cent in a matter of months; this led to huge time and efficiency gains, allowing them to redeploy staff to focus on higher value tasks. There is absolutely no reason for businesses to continue to operate an outmoded payment approach. There is a tried, tested and regulated alternative delivering major efficiency and cashflow benefits for both sides of the construction supply chain. And unless we as an industry are willing to adapt, then we are resigned to not achieving the best payment practices, return on working capital and suppliers hindered by late and delayed payments for many years to come. For more on Invapay’s partnership with Open ECX visit http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/  
    Nov 06, 2017 0
  • 26 Oct 2017
    How guaranteed are product guarantees? The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple and clear cut as perhaps they should be, with a wide range of caveats and get-out clauses often hidden among pages of complicated T&Cs.  At Sika UK, our mission statement is ‘Building Trust’ and as part of this endeavour we believe in giving meaning to the guarantees we place on each of the various products we manufacture.   That starts with taking care of everything within our control at our Sika sites; investing in our research and development, production and delivery processes and teams to ensure our products are always the best that they can be. But it doesn’t stop there. To make sure our guarantees have the greatest value possible, we also take great care on ensuring our products are being specified and installed correctly.    That’s why we work closely with roofing contractors up and down the country to give them the training and support they need to carry out installations to a satisfactory standard. In terms of training, we insist that anyone who wants to install our products comes to our sites for product training. We have a range of bespoke courses, including two-day courses for Sika Liquid Plastics and Sika-Trocal and four-day course for Sika Sarnafil, which, once completed, will see each operative issued a Sika ID competency card. We train more than 600 people every year across our sites in Preston and Welwyn Garden City. We also offer a number of management training courses to help contractors gain a better understanding of our products and their various advantages and applications to help simplify and improve specification. Beyond this, we also have two training support vehicles, both equipped with TVs, roofing products and various tools, which we take out on the road to deliver refresher training and new product courses. The final element in securing and validating our guarantees comes through inspection of installations and on-site support. We have a team of 16 field technicians, all of whom have a minimum of five years’ experience in the roofing industry, who are based across the country. These technicians go to sites on a regular basis to give their expertise and assistance where required and to carry out a number of checks, from product specification to installation – checking all layers within the system – and storage. Once the job is finished, they will carry out a final inspection and issue a guarantee only if every stage has been completed to a satisfactory level. We carry out more than 6,000 site inspections every year. All of this helps to give meaning to our guarantees and reassure our customers that the products they’re purchasing will deliver what they’re expecting them to.   And that helps to reduce the risks to the installing contractor and improve their efficiency. It’s a time-consuming process but one that we’re happy to pursue in order to maintain our position as a leading manufacturer of products working across multiple industry sectors (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z). By Ian Muddiman, Head of Applications – Roofing at Sika UK  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • How guaranteed are product guarantees? The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple and clear cut as perhaps they should be, with a wide range of caveats and get-out clauses often hidden among pages of complicated T&Cs.  At Sika UK, our mission statement is ‘Building Trust’ and as part of this endeavour we believe in giving meaning to the guarantees we place on each of the various products we manufacture.   That starts with taking care of everything within our control at our Sika sites; investing in our research and development, production and delivery processes and teams to ensure our products are always the best that they can be. But it doesn’t stop there. To make sure our guarantees have the greatest value possible, we also take great care on ensuring our products are being specified and installed correctly.    That’s why we work closely with roofing contractors up and down the country to give them the training and support they need to carry out installations to a satisfactory standard. In terms of training, we insist that anyone who wants to install our products comes to our sites for product training. We have a range of bespoke courses, including two-day courses for Sika Liquid Plastics and Sika-Trocal and four-day course for Sika Sarnafil, which, once completed, will see each operative issued a Sika ID competency card. We train more than 600 people every year across our sites in Preston and Welwyn Garden City. We also offer a number of management training courses to help contractors gain a better understanding of our products and their various advantages and applications to help simplify and improve specification. Beyond this, we also have two training support vehicles, both equipped with TVs, roofing products and various tools, which we take out on the road to deliver refresher training and new product courses. The final element in securing and validating our guarantees comes through inspection of installations and on-site support. We have a team of 16 field technicians, all of whom have a minimum of five years’ experience in the roofing industry, who are based across the country. These technicians go to sites on a regular basis to give their expertise and assistance where required and to carry out a number of checks, from product specification to installation – checking all layers within the system – and storage. Once the job is finished, they will carry out a final inspection and issue a guarantee only if every stage has been completed to a satisfactory level. We carry out more than 6,000 site inspections every year. All of this helps to give meaning to our guarantees and reassure our customers that the products they’re purchasing will deliver what they’re expecting them to.   And that helps to reduce the risks to the installing contractor and improve their efficiency. It’s a time-consuming process but one that we’re happy to pursue in order to maintain our position as a leading manufacturer of products working across multiple industry sectors (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z). By Ian Muddiman, Head of Applications – Roofing at Sika UK  
    Oct 26, 2017 0
  • 24 Oct 2017
    A Health and Safety Executive study revealed around 1,300 work-related injuries were reported between 2015 and 2016 in the food and drink industries. Of these, it’s estimated at least 25% were caused by uneven surfaces. Level flooring is therefore essential in heavily-industrialised areas involving high-levels of footfall and machinery usage. Without the need for rigorous effort, Sika’s self-levelling cementitious compounds can quickly even-out a large floor. Once the product is mixed with water according to its data sheet, it is simply poured over the floor’s uneven substrate. With a thinner consistency than other types of cement screed, the mixed compound will comfortably fill a surface’s uneven areas. Sika underlayment offers a smooth, hard-wearing solution to a range of flooring substrates. Mark Prizeman, Technical Services Manager, Sika Flooring and Refurbishment, offers a step-by-step guide to successful self-levelling flooring. The ease with which Sika’s self-levelling cementitious compound is mixed and applied enables wide-ranging surface coverage and a high-quality performance. Flat surfaces are comfortably achieved – even in thin layers – with little tension, stress and shrinkage during curing. A rapid-hardening version of the system is available. So, how is it applied? Doing the groundwork Firstly, it is important to remember that a levelled floor can never be stronger than its substrate. As such, a tensile test needs to be undertaken. This is achieved by adhering a steel dolly to the surface, isolating it and then pulling it off using a tensile tester, ensuring a minimum value of 1.5N/mm2. The compressive strength of a sub floor must have a value greater than 25N/mm2. The substrate’s dimensional stability must be secured and have permanent dryness in its lifetime. Any weak areas on the substrate should be removed by sanding, scraping, grinding, milling, blasting or brushing. Also old, loose and weak underlayments should be removed mechanically. Surface defects such as cracks must be patched prior or during priming as there is the risk of the screed material flowing into them and producing air bubbles or reflective cracks in the surface in case of substrate movement. Before applying subsequent floor coverings, cement screeds are required to display a residual moisture reading of ≤ 2.0 CM-% (heating screeds ≤ 1.8 CM-%); calcium sulphate screeds:  ≤ 0.5 CM-% (heating screeds ≤ 0.3 CM-%). Sikafloor primers can be used on a wide range of substrates before the application of Sikafloor self-levelling cementitious underlayment products. The primers can reduce the absorbency of the substrates and improve the adhesion between the underlayment and the substrate. In some cases they are also used as a protection for the substrate against the moisture coming from the self-levelling cementitious underlayments. All Sikafloor primers are rated as low-emission and meet GEV-Emicode EC-1 plus. Successful measures With the substrate primed and ready for its self-levelling compound, the next step is to measure the total area to be levelled in m2. This will calculate the amount of material necessary to achieve the mixture’s desired level and performance requirements. It’s important to note: product data sheets exclude waste and practical considerations such as surface roughness. Whether manually or pump-applied, the water added to the levelling compound should be clear, with the quality of potable water. It is prohibited to use contaminated or waste water. When it comes to applying the self-levelling compound, proper safety equipment should be worn and sufficient ventilation provided. The amount of water required for the levelling compound varies from product-to-product – see relevant product data sheet. A suitable mechanical hand mixing or mixing pump is recommended for the stirring process. Never add water to the powder or add it in stages, as this alters the product’s properties. The Sikafloor Primer and Sikafloor Level can be applied at substrate and ambient temperatures between +5°C and +30°C. Ensure all ventilation devices are switched-off during and after application for 24 hours. It’s also important to protect fresh surfaces from sunlight and direct sources of heat. Applying for a finish After mixing, pour out the self-levelling compound onto the primed surface and spread using a notched trowel or adjustable pin-leveller (pinrake) to the required thickness. The compound is applied by walking along the front and keeping a ‘wet edge’; that is, always placing material onto previously placed material before it starts to set, dry (turn matt) and harden. The width of the front will be determined by the application conditions – the higher the substrate and ambient temperature, the narrower the front. Ensure a continuous supply of mixed material and place it efficiently to allow maintaining a ‘wet edge’ which will reduce the differences between batches where the material is already starting to dry and set. Surface styling is affected by the choice of finishing tool. The use of a spike roller isn’t mandatory for every self-levelling compound, but can be recommended to remove troweling defects. The spike rolling process should not be delayed for more than five minutes after placing, particularly at higher temperatures. A significant time-lapse could lead to roller marks, unevenness on the mortar surface or ‘waves’. Excessive rolling of the application could also cause an unsightly appearance.  Depending on the thickness of the applied layer and the method of placing, the product’s ‘pot life’ and workability – usually limited to between 20 and 30 minutes at 23°C – should be decided.  Again, it’s important to reiterate that no flooring installation is the same. Mixture levels and application methods are product-dependent and likely to vary. Whatever the requirements, however, rest assured Sika offers the technical knowhow and support to ensure each self-levelling project runs as smoothly as the finished floor.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A Health and Safety Executive study revealed around 1,300 work-related injuries were reported between 2015 and 2016 in the food and drink industries. Of these, it’s estimated at least 25% were caused by uneven surfaces. Level flooring is therefore essential in heavily-industrialised areas involving high-levels of footfall and machinery usage. Without the need for rigorous effort, Sika’s self-levelling cementitious compounds can quickly even-out a large floor. Once the product is mixed with water according to its data sheet, it is simply poured over the floor’s uneven substrate. With a thinner consistency than other types of cement screed, the mixed compound will comfortably fill a surface’s uneven areas. Sika underlayment offers a smooth, hard-wearing solution to a range of flooring substrates. Mark Prizeman, Technical Services Manager, Sika Flooring and Refurbishment, offers a step-by-step guide to successful self-levelling flooring. The ease with which Sika’s self-levelling cementitious compound is mixed and applied enables wide-ranging surface coverage and a high-quality performance. Flat surfaces are comfortably achieved – even in thin layers – with little tension, stress and shrinkage during curing. A rapid-hardening version of the system is available. So, how is it applied? Doing the groundwork Firstly, it is important to remember that a levelled floor can never be stronger than its substrate. As such, a tensile test needs to be undertaken. This is achieved by adhering a steel dolly to the surface, isolating it and then pulling it off using a tensile tester, ensuring a minimum value of 1.5N/mm2. The compressive strength of a sub floor must have a value greater than 25N/mm2. The substrate’s dimensional stability must be secured and have permanent dryness in its lifetime. Any weak areas on the substrate should be removed by sanding, scraping, grinding, milling, blasting or brushing. Also old, loose and weak underlayments should be removed mechanically. Surface defects such as cracks must be patched prior or during priming as there is the risk of the screed material flowing into them and producing air bubbles or reflective cracks in the surface in case of substrate movement. Before applying subsequent floor coverings, cement screeds are required to display a residual moisture reading of ≤ 2.0 CM-% (heating screeds ≤ 1.8 CM-%); calcium sulphate screeds:  ≤ 0.5 CM-% (heating screeds ≤ 0.3 CM-%). Sikafloor primers can be used on a wide range of substrates before the application of Sikafloor self-levelling cementitious underlayment products. The primers can reduce the absorbency of the substrates and improve the adhesion between the underlayment and the substrate. In some cases they are also used as a protection for the substrate against the moisture coming from the self-levelling cementitious underlayments. All Sikafloor primers are rated as low-emission and meet GEV-Emicode EC-1 plus. Successful measures With the substrate primed and ready for its self-levelling compound, the next step is to measure the total area to be levelled in m2. This will calculate the amount of material necessary to achieve the mixture’s desired level and performance requirements. It’s important to note: product data sheets exclude waste and practical considerations such as surface roughness. Whether manually or pump-applied, the water added to the levelling compound should be clear, with the quality of potable water. It is prohibited to use contaminated or waste water. When it comes to applying the self-levelling compound, proper safety equipment should be worn and sufficient ventilation provided. The amount of water required for the levelling compound varies from product-to-product – see relevant product data sheet. A suitable mechanical hand mixing or mixing pump is recommended for the stirring process. Never add water to the powder or add it in stages, as this alters the product’s properties. The Sikafloor Primer and Sikafloor Level can be applied at substrate and ambient temperatures between +5°C and +30°C. Ensure all ventilation devices are switched-off during and after application for 24 hours. It’s also important to protect fresh surfaces from sunlight and direct sources of heat. Applying for a finish After mixing, pour out the self-levelling compound onto the primed surface and spread using a notched trowel or adjustable pin-leveller (pinrake) to the required thickness. The compound is applied by walking along the front and keeping a ‘wet edge’; that is, always placing material onto previously placed material before it starts to set, dry (turn matt) and harden. The width of the front will be determined by the application conditions – the higher the substrate and ambient temperature, the narrower the front. Ensure a continuous supply of mixed material and place it efficiently to allow maintaining a ‘wet edge’ which will reduce the differences between batches where the material is already starting to dry and set. Surface styling is affected by the choice of finishing tool. The use of a spike roller isn’t mandatory for every self-levelling compound, but can be recommended to remove troweling defects. The spike rolling process should not be delayed for more than five minutes after placing, particularly at higher temperatures. A significant time-lapse could lead to roller marks, unevenness on the mortar surface or ‘waves’. Excessive rolling of the application could also cause an unsightly appearance.  Depending on the thickness of the applied layer and the method of placing, the product’s ‘pot life’ and workability – usually limited to between 20 and 30 minutes at 23°C – should be decided.  Again, it’s important to reiterate that no flooring installation is the same. Mixture levels and application methods are product-dependent and likely to vary. Whatever the requirements, however, rest assured Sika offers the technical knowhow and support to ensure each self-levelling project runs as smoothly as the finished floor.
    Oct 24, 2017 0
  • 04 Oct 2017
    Bedfordshire based Risk Management Company THSP believe they have a winner with a Risk Assessment Builder that is making quite an impact. It is getting great reviews and has already been shortlisted for two awards – so probably worth a look. Risk Assessment will never go away, so those responsible for ensuring the safety of their colleagues will always be seeking ways to simplify their task. At the same time they will need peace of mind should an incident lead to a court case following an accident.  . The new guide offers an easy step by step process that takes the assessor through each stage of the assessment, and intuitive selection processes. The end result is a comprehensive, accurate assessment of the task at hand.  THSP’s Health and Safety Director, Chris Ivey says, “The guide helps to cut down the paperwork by carrying out a single assessment for a task, rather than having a compilation of documents for each activity.  Not only will this eliminate the repetition of control measures, our Risk Assessment Builder (RAB) will also challenge the assessor to think about the process prior to assessing the risk, and if any elements of the task can be eliminated at that point, people will be safer in their workplace. “The process is simple and the programme intuitive.  Then once the assessment is complete, action plans based on control measures and responsibilities, can be emailed directly to your staff or contractor.  The Assessments can be viewed on any device – phone, tablet or PC. “The assessment shows clearly how much the residual risk rating has been reduced by implementing the additional control measures, and if you consider this is not sufficient before you proceed with the work, you simply amend the assessment to ensure it is designed to make the risk acceptable.”  A risk assessment is a living document designed to make workplaces safer.  However, should anyone make amendments to an assessment using the THSP RAB, the name of the assessor becomes that of the new user, as does the responsibility for its accuracy.  An annual subscription allows for five users including one administrator, and additional users can be added when required allowing the creation of as many assessments as needed.  Company logos can be added to help staff take ownership of their assessment. A trial version is available at www.riskassessmentbuilder.com   Online guides will take you through the process – to help you decide for yourself By Adrienne Massey, Managing Director  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Bedfordshire based Risk Management Company THSP believe they have a winner with a Risk Assessment Builder that is making quite an impact. It is getting great reviews and has already been shortlisted for two awards – so probably worth a look. Risk Assessment will never go away, so those responsible for ensuring the safety of their colleagues will always be seeking ways to simplify their task. At the same time they will need peace of mind should an incident lead to a court case following an accident.  . The new guide offers an easy step by step process that takes the assessor through each stage of the assessment, and intuitive selection processes. The end result is a comprehensive, accurate assessment of the task at hand.  THSP’s Health and Safety Director, Chris Ivey says, “The guide helps to cut down the paperwork by carrying out a single assessment for a task, rather than having a compilation of documents for each activity.  Not only will this eliminate the repetition of control measures, our Risk Assessment Builder (RAB) will also challenge the assessor to think about the process prior to assessing the risk, and if any elements of the task can be eliminated at that point, people will be safer in their workplace. “The process is simple and the programme intuitive.  Then once the assessment is complete, action plans based on control measures and responsibilities, can be emailed directly to your staff or contractor.  The Assessments can be viewed on any device – phone, tablet or PC. “The assessment shows clearly how much the residual risk rating has been reduced by implementing the additional control measures, and if you consider this is not sufficient before you proceed with the work, you simply amend the assessment to ensure it is designed to make the risk acceptable.”  A risk assessment is a living document designed to make workplaces safer.  However, should anyone make amendments to an assessment using the THSP RAB, the name of the assessor becomes that of the new user, as does the responsibility for its accuracy.  An annual subscription allows for five users including one administrator, and additional users can be added when required allowing the creation of as many assessments as needed.  Company logos can be added to help staff take ownership of their assessment. A trial version is available at www.riskassessmentbuilder.com   Online guides will take you through the process – to help you decide for yourself By Adrienne Massey, Managing Director  
    Oct 04, 2017 0
  • 28 Sep 2017
    Noise accounts for most of the complaints that local councils and the Environment Agency receive about environmental pollution and is a major cause of stress. Given that construction sites generate significant levels of noise, which is always varied and changing, what noise control methods do contractors have at their disposal to minimise the impact of noise from such works on nearby residents and businesses? Noise during construction is balancing act between the needs of the developer and the rights of local residents.  It is one of the most difficult things to control, which is down in many ways to the size of the site, the changes in location of machinery and the transient nature of the construction. From drills to sledgehammers, electric saws to cement mixers, earth moving equipment to generators; the noise generated by these activities can be an unhealthy mix of high intensity and continuous.  It can lead to high blood pressure, extreme stress and in worst cases damage to hearing. While there are number of ways to control environmental noise on construction sites, through the use of quieter equipment, limiting construction hours, or creating noise perimeter zones, one of the most effective ways of reducing construction site noise is through the use of purpose-built perimeter noise control barriers. Noise control barriers are a fast and cost effective way of dealing with construction site noise, reducing complaints as well as promoting good relations between the construction industry and the local community. These noise control barriers are made from a composite of durable acoustic facing material, acoustically absorbent core and flexible mass membrane, delivering both optimum sound absorption and sound insulation. By designing the noise barriers to absorb noise on the side facing the noise source, unwanted sound reflections are reduced, and this in combination with the designed sound reduction through mass, lowers both the ambient and transmitted sound to the environment and nearby residences. Quickly fixed to site fencing and scaffolding, they can absorb both noise on site for operators and create a beneficial environmental noise reduction to the outside community. Due to their unique design they offer outstanding performance whilst still being easily rolled, handled and stored. Construction noise is part of any development.  Simple straightforward solutions such as noise control barriers can be the difference between a site being up and running and an unwelcome visit from the local environmental health officer.  And they do not require extensive acoustic experience on the part of the contractor. By Graham Laws – Business Development Officer, Siderise Visit: www.siderise.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Noise accounts for most of the complaints that local councils and the Environment Agency receive about environmental pollution and is a major cause of stress. Given that construction sites generate significant levels of noise, which is always varied and changing, what noise control methods do contractors have at their disposal to minimise the impact of noise from such works on nearby residents and businesses? Noise during construction is balancing act between the needs of the developer and the rights of local residents.  It is one of the most difficult things to control, which is down in many ways to the size of the site, the changes in location of machinery and the transient nature of the construction. From drills to sledgehammers, electric saws to cement mixers, earth moving equipment to generators; the noise generated by these activities can be an unhealthy mix of high intensity and continuous.  It can lead to high blood pressure, extreme stress and in worst cases damage to hearing. While there are number of ways to control environmental noise on construction sites, through the use of quieter equipment, limiting construction hours, or creating noise perimeter zones, one of the most effective ways of reducing construction site noise is through the use of purpose-built perimeter noise control barriers. Noise control barriers are a fast and cost effective way of dealing with construction site noise, reducing complaints as well as promoting good relations between the construction industry and the local community. These noise control barriers are made from a composite of durable acoustic facing material, acoustically absorbent core and flexible mass membrane, delivering both optimum sound absorption and sound insulation. By designing the noise barriers to absorb noise on the side facing the noise source, unwanted sound reflections are reduced, and this in combination with the designed sound reduction through mass, lowers both the ambient and transmitted sound to the environment and nearby residences. Quickly fixed to site fencing and scaffolding, they can absorb both noise on site for operators and create a beneficial environmental noise reduction to the outside community. Due to their unique design they offer outstanding performance whilst still being easily rolled, handled and stored. Construction noise is part of any development.  Simple straightforward solutions such as noise control barriers can be the difference between a site being up and running and an unwelcome visit from the local environmental health officer.  And they do not require extensive acoustic experience on the part of the contractor. By Graham Laws – Business Development Officer, Siderise Visit: www.siderise.com
    Sep 28, 2017 0
  • 26 Sep 2017
    There are over 13,000 injuries a year from fall from heights accidents on construction sites, some 30 of these are fatal, according to the latest statistics available from the Government. It is the second largest killer after “struck by moving vehicle,” but the good news is that such accidents seem to be steadily declining. Credit for this must go to the increased use of fall arrest systems and a growing duty of care awareness on employers to ensure that the proper precautions are observed and the right safety equipment supplied to employees working at height. Working at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. This could be while using ladders or in situations where there is a fragile deck, open spaces and other similar risks. Personal fall arrest systems are now common on construction sites for workers who are exposed to vertical drops of six feet or more. Variations of these include direct attachment to the building, usually a roof, body harnesses, vertical lifelines or netting around the building – or even a combination of these. The Health and Safety Executive has published a useful guide to help employers which can be downloaded by visiting http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.pdfThis brief guide describes what you, as an employer, need to do to protect your workers from falls from height. So far, so good, but there are still many anecdotal stories of workers ignoring safety harnesses and equally as bad is the state of some of the safety equipment which according to some experts is not maintained in the correct way. It is a legal requirement for all safety equipment, including fall protection systems, to be routinely tested by a suitably qualified person. In a report on their website http://www.bsgltd.co.uk/  the Building Safety Group say they made more than 20,000 site inspections during 2016 and height safety failure was by far the most commonly identified breach. A total of 24,634 non-compliances, say the BSG, were logged by safety advisors throughout 2016. Working at height accounted for 19% of all breaches recorded. The second highest significant non-compliance was dust/fumes, which accounted for 5%. As stated at the beginning of this blog such accidents still continue to decline slowly with some expert’s predicting that they will plateau soon. At the risk of stating the obvious – every accident is a tragedy, but falling from heights is so avoidable with the right precautions that it should be preventable. Let’s hope the decline rate continues. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There are over 13,000 injuries a year from fall from heights accidents on construction sites, some 30 of these are fatal, according to the latest statistics available from the Government. It is the second largest killer after “struck by moving vehicle,” but the good news is that such accidents seem to be steadily declining. Credit for this must go to the increased use of fall arrest systems and a growing duty of care awareness on employers to ensure that the proper precautions are observed and the right safety equipment supplied to employees working at height. Working at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. This could be while using ladders or in situations where there is a fragile deck, open spaces and other similar risks. Personal fall arrest systems are now common on construction sites for workers who are exposed to vertical drops of six feet or more. Variations of these include direct attachment to the building, usually a roof, body harnesses, vertical lifelines or netting around the building – or even a combination of these. The Health and Safety Executive has published a useful guide to help employers which can be downloaded by visiting http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.pdfThis brief guide describes what you, as an employer, need to do to protect your workers from falls from height. So far, so good, but there are still many anecdotal stories of workers ignoring safety harnesses and equally as bad is the state of some of the safety equipment which according to some experts is not maintained in the correct way. It is a legal requirement for all safety equipment, including fall protection systems, to be routinely tested by a suitably qualified person. In a report on their website http://www.bsgltd.co.uk/  the Building Safety Group say they made more than 20,000 site inspections during 2016 and height safety failure was by far the most commonly identified breach. A total of 24,634 non-compliances, say the BSG, were logged by safety advisors throughout 2016. Working at height accounted for 19% of all breaches recorded. The second highest significant non-compliance was dust/fumes, which accounted for 5%. As stated at the beginning of this blog such accidents still continue to decline slowly with some expert’s predicting that they will plateau soon. At the risk of stating the obvious – every accident is a tragedy, but falling from heights is so avoidable with the right precautions that it should be preventable. Let’s hope the decline rate continues. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 26, 2017 0
  • 25 Sep 2017
    Self-healing concrete using bacteria to seal cracks has been talked about for more than six years. It’s a remarkable innovation which means that concrete could in theory last for ever. So why have we heard so little about it and why are we not using it on all of our buildings and infrastructure? It possibly has everything to do with price – it is estimated that production costs for conventional concrete amount to £80 per cubic metre, compared to a cubic metre of self-healing concrete which would cost between £85 and £100 with the bacteria added. However, with significantly lower repair and replacement costs over the lifetime of a building, this minimally higher investment would quickly pay for itself. It is estimated that around £40 billion a year is spent in the UK on the repair and maintenance of structures, the majority of which are made from concrete. So how does Self-healing concrete work? To quote its inventorDr Henk Jonkers, it is a product that will biologically produce limestone to heal cracks that appear on the surface of concrete structures. Specially selected types of the bacteria genus Bacillus, along with a calcium-based nutrient known as calcium lactate, and nitrogen and phosphorus, are added to the ingredients of the concrete when it is being mixed. These self-healing agents can lie dormant within the concrete for up to 200 years. However, when a concrete structure is damaged and water starts to seep through the cracks, the spores of the bacteria germinate on contact with the moisture and nutrients. Having been activated, the bacteria start to feed on the calcium lactate. As the bacteria feed, oxygen is consumed and the soluble calcium lactate is converted to insoluble limestone. The limestone solidifies on the cracked surface, thereby sealing it up. It mimics the process by which bone fractures in the human body are naturally healed. The consumption of oxygen during the bacterial conversion of calcium lactate to limestone has an additional advantage. Oxygen is an essential element in the process of corrosion of steel and when the bacterial activity has consumed it all, it increases the durability of steel reinforced concrete constructions. The key ingredients in the process are two self-healing agents, the bacterial spores and calcium lactate-based nutrients, which are introduced to the concrete within separate expanded clay pellets 2-4 mm wide. These ensure that the agents will not be activated during the cement-mixing process. Only when cracks open up the pellets and incoming water brings the calcium lactate into contact with the bacteria do these become activated. In 2015 academics in South Wales in partnership with Costain started testing the concept but little has been heard since. While these things take time to verify it does seem we are missing a major opportunity with the possibility of self-healing bridges, walls, roads and even pot holes in the future – significantly reducing costs. Can’t help thinking how exciting this is – so what’s the delay? By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Self-healing concrete using bacteria to seal cracks has been talked about for more than six years. It’s a remarkable innovation which means that concrete could in theory last for ever. So why have we heard so little about it and why are we not using it on all of our buildings and infrastructure? It possibly has everything to do with price – it is estimated that production costs for conventional concrete amount to £80 per cubic metre, compared to a cubic metre of self-healing concrete which would cost between £85 and £100 with the bacteria added. However, with significantly lower repair and replacement costs over the lifetime of a building, this minimally higher investment would quickly pay for itself. It is estimated that around £40 billion a year is spent in the UK on the repair and maintenance of structures, the majority of which are made from concrete. So how does Self-healing concrete work? To quote its inventorDr Henk Jonkers, it is a product that will biologically produce limestone to heal cracks that appear on the surface of concrete structures. Specially selected types of the bacteria genus Bacillus, along with a calcium-based nutrient known as calcium lactate, and nitrogen and phosphorus, are added to the ingredients of the concrete when it is being mixed. These self-healing agents can lie dormant within the concrete for up to 200 years. However, when a concrete structure is damaged and water starts to seep through the cracks, the spores of the bacteria germinate on contact with the moisture and nutrients. Having been activated, the bacteria start to feed on the calcium lactate. As the bacteria feed, oxygen is consumed and the soluble calcium lactate is converted to insoluble limestone. The limestone solidifies on the cracked surface, thereby sealing it up. It mimics the process by which bone fractures in the human body are naturally healed. The consumption of oxygen during the bacterial conversion of calcium lactate to limestone has an additional advantage. Oxygen is an essential element in the process of corrosion of steel and when the bacterial activity has consumed it all, it increases the durability of steel reinforced concrete constructions. The key ingredients in the process are two self-healing agents, the bacterial spores and calcium lactate-based nutrients, which are introduced to the concrete within separate expanded clay pellets 2-4 mm wide. These ensure that the agents will not be activated during the cement-mixing process. Only when cracks open up the pellets and incoming water brings the calcium lactate into contact with the bacteria do these become activated. In 2015 academics in South Wales in partnership with Costain started testing the concept but little has been heard since. While these things take time to verify it does seem we are missing a major opportunity with the possibility of self-healing bridges, walls, roads and even pot holes in the future – significantly reducing costs. Can’t help thinking how exciting this is – so what’s the delay? By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 25, 2017 0
  • 24 Sep 2017
    There have been consistent campaigns over many years to install smoke alarms in all buildings – and it is now standard practice on all new builds and major refurbishments - but sadly we do not appear to be taking the threat of Carbon monoxide poisoning in quite the same way. There are increasing calls for Government to introduce legislation particularly as current statistics suggest that while around 84% of properties have smoke alarms only 15% are equipped with Carbon Monoxide detection. It is possibly why we continue to see 200 people a year taken to hospital after breathing in this odourless gas resulting in up to 50 deaths. Small changes were made to building regulations in October 2010 requiring that a carbon monoxide detector be fitted in any rooms that have either a replacement or new fixed solid fuel-burning appliance installed, but most expert’s feel this does not go far enough and want detectors fitted wherever there is risk. One key area where regulations are enforced however is the lettings sector. Landlords are specifically required to carry out a check to ensure that smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms are installed to comply with the Regulations and are in proper working order on the day a tenancy begins, but this only deals with part of the problem. After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body), to form carboxyhaemoglobin. When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die. With around 12 million homes in the UK not protected by a carbon monoxide alarm – we are likely to see a rise in deaths. Most at risk are children, the elderly and pregnant women. CO alarms can be bought online or in most supermarkets, but people are warned to be aware of cheap, sub-standard units available online from overseas suppliers. Only recently we have seen some 3.5 million units recalled in the US for potential failures. Carbon Monoxide poisoning occasionally hits the headlines and seems to act as a temporary wakeup call but until we introduce similar legislation and regulations to those of smoke alarms we are unlikely to see any reductions in fatalities. Just a reminder – that’s 50 deaths a year or one a week. How many more have to die before we make changes? By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There have been consistent campaigns over many years to install smoke alarms in all buildings – and it is now standard practice on all new builds and major refurbishments - but sadly we do not appear to be taking the threat of Carbon monoxide poisoning in quite the same way. There are increasing calls for Government to introduce legislation particularly as current statistics suggest that while around 84% of properties have smoke alarms only 15% are equipped with Carbon Monoxide detection. It is possibly why we continue to see 200 people a year taken to hospital after breathing in this odourless gas resulting in up to 50 deaths. Small changes were made to building regulations in October 2010 requiring that a carbon monoxide detector be fitted in any rooms that have either a replacement or new fixed solid fuel-burning appliance installed, but most expert’s feel this does not go far enough and want detectors fitted wherever there is risk. One key area where regulations are enforced however is the lettings sector. Landlords are specifically required to carry out a check to ensure that smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms are installed to comply with the Regulations and are in proper working order on the day a tenancy begins, but this only deals with part of the problem. After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body), to form carboxyhaemoglobin. When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die. With around 12 million homes in the UK not protected by a carbon monoxide alarm – we are likely to see a rise in deaths. Most at risk are children, the elderly and pregnant women. CO alarms can be bought online or in most supermarkets, but people are warned to be aware of cheap, sub-standard units available online from overseas suppliers. Only recently we have seen some 3.5 million units recalled in the US for potential failures. Carbon Monoxide poisoning occasionally hits the headlines and seems to act as a temporary wakeup call but until we introduce similar legislation and regulations to those of smoke alarms we are unlikely to see any reductions in fatalities. Just a reminder – that’s 50 deaths a year or one a week. How many more have to die before we make changes? By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 24, 2017 0
  • 21 Sep 2017
    The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    Sep 21, 2017 0
  • 20 Sep 2017
    What makes a great building great? Is it the design? Is it the purpose it serves? Is it innovative use of materials, technology and its environmental impact? It is all of these things, but the biggest factor is the client - behind every great building there is a great client - a client that has vision, aspiration and isn’t afraid to be brave and try something new every so often. But this is only part of the challenge. To truly deliver an exceptional building, clients need supply chains that share their aspirations and goals - but that is easier said than done. If there is going to be something that derails or detracts from a project - with the exception of cost - it is understanding. As construction projects become increasingly complex, supply chains and delivery teams get bigger-and-bigger. With this comes the challenge of ensuring buy-in from all parties and making sure they are fully on board with the client’s goals, aspirations and objectives. If a client can convey to all parts of their supply chain the passion that is driving them and the end result they are looking to achieve, then they are on course to achieve an outstanding building. If they can go one step further and get a supply chain that totally buys into what they want to achieve and is willing to go that step further and help to enhance the design or build, then the truly exceptional is possible. However, in reality this rarely happens. All too often there will be an opportunity for a contractor to deviate from the original plan. Sometimes this is down to value engineering, with the good of the client and their budget in mind; sometimes it is down to a lack of understanding of the reason why something has been specified; and sometimes it is as a way of doing it cheaper, quicker and easier. However, in many instances, alternative products and “cheaper and quicker” means compromising the project objectives, and it is done because outcomes and objectives are not understood or bought into. When delivering truly aspirational buildings, it is essential that all parties are on board with the client’s goals. These need to be shared goals, not just client goals. For it to really work, all members of the supply chain need to understand where the client is coming from; believe in the goals and want the project to succeed. As such, it is essential at tender stage that contractors are judged on their enthusiasm for the project; their willingness to get behind the client and deliver their vision, and for what added value they can contribute. This means clients have to be strong and make sure that cost isn’t the overriding factor. This is very much the case with BREEAM, the internationally-recognised measure of sustainability for buildings and communities. Clients choose BREEAM for many reasons - to provide recognition of a building that places people, the environment and economics at the forefront; to drive energy efficiency, innovation or best practice; to add value through creating properties that are more attractive to tenants; to create environments that are more conducive for working, living and learning. The problem comes when the supply chain doesn’t understand the reasons for choosing the accreditation. Simply disregarding it as a “box-ticking” exercise or believing it just adds a layer of complexity, is a sure-fire way of making the process unnecessarily difficult. It could even add time delays, costs and result in a building that doesn’t meet expectations. By finding a supply chain that fully understands BREEAM and knows how it can improve both the design and build processes, and why a client has chosen it, is key. The same principle goes for other components of a project - a team that understands your decisions and supports them will ensure that corners are not cut and decisions made that can compromise a project. Yes, at a time when everyone is under increasing pressure to deliver faster and cheaper, it can be difficult to find partners that truly understand your goals. However, never underestimate the value of an empowered, enthusiastic and supportive supply chain. By Darren Evans, Managing Director, Darren Evans Assessments  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • What makes a great building great? Is it the design? Is it the purpose it serves? Is it innovative use of materials, technology and its environmental impact? It is all of these things, but the biggest factor is the client - behind every great building there is a great client - a client that has vision, aspiration and isn’t afraid to be brave and try something new every so often. But this is only part of the challenge. To truly deliver an exceptional building, clients need supply chains that share their aspirations and goals - but that is easier said than done. If there is going to be something that derails or detracts from a project - with the exception of cost - it is understanding. As construction projects become increasingly complex, supply chains and delivery teams get bigger-and-bigger. With this comes the challenge of ensuring buy-in from all parties and making sure they are fully on board with the client’s goals, aspirations and objectives. If a client can convey to all parts of their supply chain the passion that is driving them and the end result they are looking to achieve, then they are on course to achieve an outstanding building. If they can go one step further and get a supply chain that totally buys into what they want to achieve and is willing to go that step further and help to enhance the design or build, then the truly exceptional is possible. However, in reality this rarely happens. All too often there will be an opportunity for a contractor to deviate from the original plan. Sometimes this is down to value engineering, with the good of the client and their budget in mind; sometimes it is down to a lack of understanding of the reason why something has been specified; and sometimes it is as a way of doing it cheaper, quicker and easier. However, in many instances, alternative products and “cheaper and quicker” means compromising the project objectives, and it is done because outcomes and objectives are not understood or bought into. When delivering truly aspirational buildings, it is essential that all parties are on board with the client’s goals. These need to be shared goals, not just client goals. For it to really work, all members of the supply chain need to understand where the client is coming from; believe in the goals and want the project to succeed. As such, it is essential at tender stage that contractors are judged on their enthusiasm for the project; their willingness to get behind the client and deliver their vision, and for what added value they can contribute. This means clients have to be strong and make sure that cost isn’t the overriding factor. This is very much the case with BREEAM, the internationally-recognised measure of sustainability for buildings and communities. Clients choose BREEAM for many reasons - to provide recognition of a building that places people, the environment and economics at the forefront; to drive energy efficiency, innovation or best practice; to add value through creating properties that are more attractive to tenants; to create environments that are more conducive for working, living and learning. The problem comes when the supply chain doesn’t understand the reasons for choosing the accreditation. Simply disregarding it as a “box-ticking” exercise or believing it just adds a layer of complexity, is a sure-fire way of making the process unnecessarily difficult. It could even add time delays, costs and result in a building that doesn’t meet expectations. By finding a supply chain that fully understands BREEAM and knows how it can improve both the design and build processes, and why a client has chosen it, is key. The same principle goes for other components of a project - a team that understands your decisions and supports them will ensure that corners are not cut and decisions made that can compromise a project. Yes, at a time when everyone is under increasing pressure to deliver faster and cheaper, it can be difficult to find partners that truly understand your goals. However, never underestimate the value of an empowered, enthusiastic and supportive supply chain. By Darren Evans, Managing Director, Darren Evans Assessments  
    Sep 20, 2017 0
  • 19 Sep 2017
    And now for some good news…Construction Industry Forecasts for 2017 to 2019 estimate an overall rise of 7.4% for new-build infrastructure in the UK this year, with a continuation of 6.4% next year. It’s news that bodes equally well for leading suppliers of concrete repair and protection solutions such as Sika, as an increase in new buildings will inevitably lead to defects in newly-poured concrete requiring onsite attention. So, what is this positive outlook for the country’s new building output based upon? Well, a number of factors across a number of key infrastructural sectors appear to be driving the optimism. Forecasts for the harbours and waterways sector are particularly encouraging, with year-on-year growth predicted thanks to huge waterside projects planned across the country in the coming years. There’s the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion project for example. Commencing in September this year, the £350 million scheme – due to be completed in 2020 – will see the existing site expanded to include a facility for oil industry decommissioning work. Other upcoming UK harbour projects include a £135 million redevelopment of the port of Dover, and a £10 million project to build a new link-span bridge at the Port of Heysham in Lancashire. Water spend Upgrades in water treatment works are also continuing nationwide as part of Asset Management Period 6 which runs from 2015 to 2020. Water firms will have spent more than £44 billion in that time on improvement works agreed by water industry regulator, Ofwat, thatinclude the Severn Trent Water’s Birmingham Resilience project, Wessex Water’s integrated supply grid, and the modernisation of United Utilities’ Davyhulme wastewater treatment plant. Work on London’s £4.2 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel project, which is being financed and delivered by an independent provider, is also boosting construction in this sector. Spending on road maintenance is also expected to rise. Highways England has a maintenance budget of £1.3 billion over its first fixed five-year investment period, which began in 2015/16. In 2017/18, expenditure on maintenance is set to increase to £258 million, from the £254 million allocated for 2016/17. Thereafter, it is expected to increase in 2018/19, before slowing in 2019/20. However, 97% of the roads network is governed by local authorities, which are financially-constrained due to cuts in central government funding since 2010. Whatever monetary restrictions councils face there is little doubt the condition of the country’s roads require urgent address, as an Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey (ALARM) report revealed a 13-year backlog of local roads maintenance in England. Energy drive Infrastructure repair and maintenance is also expected to increase in order to maintain the country’s energy provision. With a delay in the building of nuclear power stations, National Grid announced it would be retaining the services of existing power plants initially earmarked for closure. Structural maintenance is likely to be required to extend the lifespan of the plants which will be held in reserve to boost electricity supplies if and when required. Construction Industry Forecasts – headline figures for 2017 to 2019 Construction output to grow by 1.6% in 2017 and 0.7% in 2018 Private housing starts to rise by 3.0% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018 Infrastructure construction to grow by 7.4% in 2017 and 6.4% in 2018 Construction Industry Forecasts for public housing repair, maintenance and improvement is a little less encouraging, with output in this sector expected to remain flat in 2017 and 2018, whilst commercial offices output is expected to fall by 1% and 12% during the same period. However, prospects for the builders of the nation’s infrastructure, and the contractors and manufacturing firms required to maintain it remain distinctly good. It would seem the UK is building towards a brighter future. By Charles Pierce, National Sales Manager - TM Refurbishment    
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • And now for some good news…Construction Industry Forecasts for 2017 to 2019 estimate an overall rise of 7.4% for new-build infrastructure in the UK this year, with a continuation of 6.4% next year. It’s news that bodes equally well for leading suppliers of concrete repair and protection solutions such as Sika, as an increase in new buildings will inevitably lead to defects in newly-poured concrete requiring onsite attention. So, what is this positive outlook for the country’s new building output based upon? Well, a number of factors across a number of key infrastructural sectors appear to be driving the optimism. Forecasts for the harbours and waterways sector are particularly encouraging, with year-on-year growth predicted thanks to huge waterside projects planned across the country in the coming years. There’s the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion project for example. Commencing in September this year, the £350 million scheme – due to be completed in 2020 – will see the existing site expanded to include a facility for oil industry decommissioning work. Other upcoming UK harbour projects include a £135 million redevelopment of the port of Dover, and a £10 million project to build a new link-span bridge at the Port of Heysham in Lancashire. Water spend Upgrades in water treatment works are also continuing nationwide as part of Asset Management Period 6 which runs from 2015 to 2020. Water firms will have spent more than £44 billion in that time on improvement works agreed by water industry regulator, Ofwat, thatinclude the Severn Trent Water’s Birmingham Resilience project, Wessex Water’s integrated supply grid, and the modernisation of United Utilities’ Davyhulme wastewater treatment plant. Work on London’s £4.2 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel project, which is being financed and delivered by an independent provider, is also boosting construction in this sector. Spending on road maintenance is also expected to rise. Highways England has a maintenance budget of £1.3 billion over its first fixed five-year investment period, which began in 2015/16. In 2017/18, expenditure on maintenance is set to increase to £258 million, from the £254 million allocated for 2016/17. Thereafter, it is expected to increase in 2018/19, before slowing in 2019/20. However, 97% of the roads network is governed by local authorities, which are financially-constrained due to cuts in central government funding since 2010. Whatever monetary restrictions councils face there is little doubt the condition of the country’s roads require urgent address, as an Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey (ALARM) report revealed a 13-year backlog of local roads maintenance in England. Energy drive Infrastructure repair and maintenance is also expected to increase in order to maintain the country’s energy provision. With a delay in the building of nuclear power stations, National Grid announced it would be retaining the services of existing power plants initially earmarked for closure. Structural maintenance is likely to be required to extend the lifespan of the plants which will be held in reserve to boost electricity supplies if and when required. Construction Industry Forecasts – headline figures for 2017 to 2019 Construction output to grow by 1.6% in 2017 and 0.7% in 2018 Private housing starts to rise by 3.0% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018 Infrastructure construction to grow by 7.4% in 2017 and 6.4% in 2018 Construction Industry Forecasts for public housing repair, maintenance and improvement is a little less encouraging, with output in this sector expected to remain flat in 2017 and 2018, whilst commercial offices output is expected to fall by 1% and 12% during the same period. However, prospects for the builders of the nation’s infrastructure, and the contractors and manufacturing firms required to maintain it remain distinctly good. It would seem the UK is building towards a brighter future. By Charles Pierce, National Sales Manager - TM Refurbishment    
    Sep 19, 2017 0
  • 15 Sep 2017
    It’s a dilemma faced by all school-leavers and is one of the most important decisions of their lives – what to do next? They stand at the crossroads to their future, not knowing whether to take on the financial burden of three years at college or university, go straight into a job or look at a delay tactic such as a gap year. There is of course another option and one that is increasingly becoming a popular choice with over 900,000 people across the UK – an apprenticeship where they can earn while they learn. Apprenticeships come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common - a ladder of opportunity to a great career.  Apprenticeships are essentially structured training programmes which help young people gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen industry. Trainees gain an advantage as they are employed earlier and obtain a foothold in a good salary earlier in their life. In a bid to address the skills shortage in the aging construction industry, apprenticeships within the sector are on the up, as more and more young people realise there are a number of careers they can take up in the industry. For a company which is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the future of its workforce, Darren Evans Assessments has had tremendous success with apprentices employing a number of local young people and accessing funding for their role including training at college.    New school leaver Sophie Pine is an apprentice in business support at Darren Evans and is studying towards her Business Administration Apprenticeship at SGS Filton College.  She says her first job was always going to be a big change, but she didn’t find it a stressful experience, far from it.  “I definitely think getting an apprenticeship was the best decision as I prefer coming to work every morning than going to school. I also enjoy what I do every day and the advantage is that I am learning and gaining experience at the same time.” “I find the construction industry interesting because it has opened my eyes and has made me more aware of things that I wasn’t aware of before. There is also a lot of scope within this field, as people will always need the services we provide,” said Sophie. Sophie is also a prime example of how younger women can gain a foothold in the male-dominated construction sector. Fellow apprentice Oliver Janes is also reaping the benefits of an apprenticeship at the firm, whilst studying Business Administration one day a week at SGS Filton College.  “When I joined Darren Evans Assessments I didn’t really have much of an idea about the industry, however, since joining my knowledge has grown and constantly does so. I like that this is a competitive industry and that as a company we are thriving,” said Oliver. Commenting on the school-to-work transition, Oliver added, “I feel the change in my life from school to office has been really good and I enjoy the working life. I have learned so many different things since starting at Darren Evans, from administrative tasks such as invoices, to undertaking SAPs and EPCs within the technical team. “Six months ago I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to start my career or where I was going to go to start it. However, since working at Darren Evans, they have given me the opportunity to improve myself and also help me get an understanding in what I want to do for the foreseeable future,” he said. Michelle Clark, Office/HR Manager said: “Offering Sophie and Ollie an apprenticeship has given Darren Evans Assessments a chance to play an active role in moulding our future workforce and creating the future skills that we need to help our business grow.  I am so proud to be part of watching Sophie and Ollie grow into young professionals whilst gaining a recognised qualification at college.  They have both settled into the world of work, are enthusiastic and an asset to our company already.”  The benefit to the business is clear: Darren Evan Assessments is able to place people in the company who it knows to be experienced, competent and can hit the ground running. These apprenticeships are seen as a positive choice for young people. Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It’s a dilemma faced by all school-leavers and is one of the most important decisions of their lives – what to do next? They stand at the crossroads to their future, not knowing whether to take on the financial burden of three years at college or university, go straight into a job or look at a delay tactic such as a gap year. There is of course another option and one that is increasingly becoming a popular choice with over 900,000 people across the UK – an apprenticeship where they can earn while they learn. Apprenticeships come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common - a ladder of opportunity to a great career.  Apprenticeships are essentially structured training programmes which help young people gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen industry. Trainees gain an advantage as they are employed earlier and obtain a foothold in a good salary earlier in their life. In a bid to address the skills shortage in the aging construction industry, apprenticeships within the sector are on the up, as more and more young people realise there are a number of careers they can take up in the industry. For a company which is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the future of its workforce, Darren Evans Assessments has had tremendous success with apprentices employing a number of local young people and accessing funding for their role including training at college.    New school leaver Sophie Pine is an apprentice in business support at Darren Evans and is studying towards her Business Administration Apprenticeship at SGS Filton College.  She says her first job was always going to be a big change, but she didn’t find it a stressful experience, far from it.  “I definitely think getting an apprenticeship was the best decision as I prefer coming to work every morning than going to school. I also enjoy what I do every day and the advantage is that I am learning and gaining experience at the same time.” “I find the construction industry interesting because it has opened my eyes and has made me more aware of things that I wasn’t aware of before. There is also a lot of scope within this field, as people will always need the services we provide,” said Sophie. Sophie is also a prime example of how younger women can gain a foothold in the male-dominated construction sector. Fellow apprentice Oliver Janes is also reaping the benefits of an apprenticeship at the firm, whilst studying Business Administration one day a week at SGS Filton College.  “When I joined Darren Evans Assessments I didn’t really have much of an idea about the industry, however, since joining my knowledge has grown and constantly does so. I like that this is a competitive industry and that as a company we are thriving,” said Oliver. Commenting on the school-to-work transition, Oliver added, “I feel the change in my life from school to office has been really good and I enjoy the working life. I have learned so many different things since starting at Darren Evans, from administrative tasks such as invoices, to undertaking SAPs and EPCs within the technical team. “Six months ago I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to start my career or where I was going to go to start it. However, since working at Darren Evans, they have given me the opportunity to improve myself and also help me get an understanding in what I want to do for the foreseeable future,” he said. Michelle Clark, Office/HR Manager said: “Offering Sophie and Ollie an apprenticeship has given Darren Evans Assessments a chance to play an active role in moulding our future workforce and creating the future skills that we need to help our business grow.  I am so proud to be part of watching Sophie and Ollie grow into young professionals whilst gaining a recognised qualification at college.  They have both settled into the world of work, are enthusiastic and an asset to our company already.”  The benefit to the business is clear: Darren Evan Assessments is able to place people in the company who it knows to be experienced, competent and can hit the ground running. These apprenticeships are seen as a positive choice for young people. Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    Sep 15, 2017 0